Spousal support is an issue when a long-term marriage dissolves. It is awarded if there’s a significant difference in income or earning ability between the parties. Support is appropriate when one person in the marriage sacrificed career opportunities based on mutual decisions such as child rearing. The amount, duration, and style of support depends on facts. Support is negotiated and agreed upon by the parties, or it is decided by the court.
Parties are free to negotiate spousal support in lieu of property division. That’s sometimes prudent because property division is tax free while spousal support is taxed. Support may be paid in a lump sum or over time. Lump sum payment benefits the payee with immediate cash; it benefits the payor by avoiding risk of modification. Spousal support requires strategic thinking by both parties.
He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.